Time to Pause and Take Stock?

Today is Chaitra Shuddha PratipadaVarsha Pratipada, Yugadi, or GudiPadwa, the first day of the Hindu New Year!

 May the coming year bring happiness and prosperity to all my blogging friends!

I had intended to write some glimpses of the year just ended. I quickly realized, however, that public life in India during this past year can be summed up, for the most part, in just one word- Greed.

Scam after scam has been uncovered, disclosing just how far some are ready to go in pursuit of money and power. Influential people amassing huge amounts by dishonest means. And not so influential people following their example.

Leo Tolstoy’s well-known story ‘How Much Land Does A Man Need?’  tells the tale of a peasant, Pahom, and his greed for land. He wanted, and obtained, more and more land, but was never satisfied with what he had.

Ultimately, he had a chance to own all the land he could walk around in a day. He started to walk, but became increasingly greedy and tried to walk around such a large area of land, that he could barely make it back to the starting point.

The effort was too much for him, however, and he fell down dead at the finish line.

So ultimately how much land he did he need?

“His servant picked up the spade and dug a grave long enough for Pahom to lie in, and buried him in it. Six feet from his head to his heels was all he needed.”

Is Indian society going down the same road that Tolstoy’s peasant went? Will our desire for ‘more’ lead to our doom?

 Today’s mantra seems to be “Ye dil maange more” ? But how much more will be enough for us?  Will we ever be satisfied with what we have obtained?

The Subhaashitkar says-

को देशः कानि मित्राणि कः कालः कौ व्ययागमौ |
 कश्र्चाहं का च  मे  शक्तिः इति चिन्त्यं मुहुर्मुहुः ||

 A person should reflect on which nation one lives in, who are one’s friends, what the present time (situation) is, what one’s expenditure as well as income is. A person should think about who one is, and what one’s strength is.

A person should reflect on all these again and again, and then decide on his future actions.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to take the Subhaashitkar’s advice. To pause and think about where we are heading, and where we really want to go. To reflect on what  our future course of action should be.

If we do so, I am sure we will be able to decide which road would be most beneficial-  for us as individuals, as well as for us as a society.

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16 thoughts on “Time to Pause and Take Stock?”

  1. मंजू , नवीन वर्षाचे अभिष्टचिंतन ! हे नवीन वर्ष आपल्या सर्वांना आनंदाचे, सुख समृद्धीचे जाईल अशी आशा करते.
    आपल्याकडे नुसतं dil mange more नसतं…… डोळ्यावर पट्टी , मनात नोटांची थप्पी , कश्याच्या बदल्यात काय मिळेल याची सतत काळजी .
    शनिवारच्या वर्ल्ड कप विजया नंतर खेळाडूंवर प्रत्येक राज्य कोटीची बरसात करत आहे . आपल्या आपल्या राज्याच्या खेळाडूंवर मेहेरबानी करत आहेत .
    पण असेच पैसे उद्या राज्यातील लहान मुलांच्या आश्रय गृहा साठी, किंवा बायकांची स्वच्छता गृह बांधण्याची वेळ आली , कि , खर्च करायची वेळ आली, कि हात कोरडे होतात .
    सुभाषितात लिहिलंय खरं, पण आपण संस्कृत हा विषय विश्व विद्यालयातून गायब करतो . कस समजणार ?
    Dil mange more अक्कल…..

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    1. Dil mange more अक्कल…..
      True, but who has time to listen to this demand? Most people having any influence are busy adding to their own wealth and power!

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  2. We can just hope that better sense prevails, but the way wind is blowing doesnt augur well..slowly slowly one sees everybody is tainted…One can clean a spot, but if the whole thing is dirty then?

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  3. Happy and peaceful New Year, Manju, to you and your family!

    Day by day, our country is getting worse and worse! After seeing the scam after scam news everyday, we are developing the habit of looking at every person in a doubtful manner. We don’t take anyone on the face value! Feel scary about the future for our children.

    Yes, in the end, we need just 6 feet land for us to lie down permanently. And the scamsters (!) hand over their easily earned money to their children to follow in their footsteps and the whole country is poisoned.

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    1. Yes, that is one bad effect- that we become suspicious of everyone. Even if someone does a good deed from his heart we will think he has some ulterior motive!

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  4. I agree with Suranga. All the crores that are being showered on the cricketers could be better put to use in more urgent things like night shelters and such. Even building public toilets with running water in slums and resettlement colonies are a priority today. but our leaders are all intent on owning the most lavish things for themselves and their family. Let’s hope Anna’s fast opens the eyes of the corrupt.

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  5. In my opinion, we have reached a stage where it cant get worse and hence has to improve. The answer is a revolution, which will happen by itself from forces within the system. Read British India history, it is just repeating itself.
    Can one imagine these politicians now looting the natural resources of the country.

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  6. greetings Manju. I do not know about india but it is the same here in the states it seems. all one can do is what one can do, however, so I liked Subhaashitkar’s advice very much.

    I have recently discovered I am a person who prefers having internet access to having good teeth (all $ was previously going to a dentist all the time but having no internet, I felt lost).

    perhaps that does not make sense. In any case peace and greetings to you.

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    1. Hi Opirnia, nice to hear from you! I agree with you about internet access. 🙂

      These short verses are called Subhaashits (wise sayings), and their authors are Subhaashitkars. They lived and composed these verses centuries ago and were evidently wise people!

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